Issues in mining activities affect women


MOST issues affecting women involved in alluvial mining activities, including training, are overlooked although they contribute significantly to the local economy apart from providing food on the table after panning for the day.
Issues in decision-making, training on how to use equipment and mercury, financial literacy on how to budget their earnings and training in more mechanised mining are among those issues.
Alluvial mining trainer for training specialists Immaculate Javia said women needed to be organised into associations and cooperatives to ensure mining activities were easier, organised and more responsible to make investments.
“The small-scale alluvial mining involving women is less researched and documented; therefore, women’s participation is less understood by men and key government organisations,” Javia said.
“Sadly, there is a poor and unreliable enhancement training and marketing opportunities for women in disadvantaged rural areas.”
Javia initiated the Wau-Bulolo female small-scale miners’ association in 2014, comprising 50 registered women and more than 1,000 interested women.
The two female groups are from Wau and Bulolo
But lack of funding prevented them from organising the rural Waria (Garaina) women.
Javia said the main objectives were to:

  • GIVE women a voice at the decision-making and political fronts;
  • EMPOWER women through skills training and knowledge that are aligned to women’s needs;
  • EMPOWER women economically or financially to improve their mining activities; and,
  • TAILOR capacity-building programmes to address women’s issues faced in the sector.